Sudan’s president says no concessions for rebel and opposition forces
December 23, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir reiterated that his government would make no concession to the rebel and opposition forces, saying that the dialogue process will not wait for them.
Since last January, al-Bashir launched a call for a national dialogue to discuss peace and democratic reforms in the country. However, he refused the opposition and rebel demands for a conducive environment and transitional government.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of a new promotion of the Joint Command and Staff College on Tuesday, Bashir reiterated the government willingness to continue negotiations with the SPLM-N on the basis of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and Darfur rebel groups on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).
However he said the second phase of the “Decisive Summer” military campaign will “get rid of the rebellion and remove its roots”.
The African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) prepares for a new round of talks in January between the government and the SPLM-N to end the South Kordofan and Blue Nile conflict. It also plans for the resumption of talks between Sudan Liberation Movement Minni-Minnawi and Justice and Equality Movement to end Darfur conflict.
Before the suspension of the talks, the government delegations refused to include matters related to the national dialogue in the draft framework agreement with the SPLM-N.
In Darfur track, Khartoum declined to include matter related to the western Sudan region that rebels want to discuss, saying all these issues are already discussed in the DDPD.
Al-Bashir repeated his refusal for a new process on Darfur conflict saying “The DDPD was unanimously approved by the international community and blessed by all friendly and neutral parties for its depth and extensive coverage since the inception of negotiations in Abuja and its culmination in Doha”.
According to the roadmap of the African Union Peace and Security Council, the talks with the rebel groups should pave the way for their inclusion in the national dialogue after the signing of a cessation of hostilities followed by security arrangements.
The African roadmap also provides to include opposition parties in the process and calls for the organisation of an all-parties preparatory conference at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa to discuss a framework agreement for the national dialogue.
The holdout opposition forces signed on 3 December a political declaration with the rebel groups in the Ethiopian capital providing that a genuine process stipules the implementation of confidence building measures.
However, Bashir renewed his call to the opposition parties to take part in the national conference.
“We will continue this dialogue with those who attend it and those who refuse will waste time,” he said.
The president said the armed forces are ready to defend the country against the rebel groups if they intend to refuse his call for dialogue.
RNM ACCUSED OF SPOILING NATIONAL DIALOGUE
On a related development, the political secretary of the ruling National Congress Party, Osman Mustafa Ismail, accused the Reform Now Movement (RNM) of seeking to thwart the dialogue process.
“The Movement is keen to derail the national dialogue and it presence in the (dialogue’s) mechanism aims to spoil it,” Ismail said.
These powerful statements against the RNM, which is headed by the former presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Eddin Attabani, reflect the frustration that he causes by his repeated criticisms against the management of the internal process by the NCP.
Ismail added that the RNM in vain attempted several times to convince the other opposition forces to quit the process.
“Now they have to choose between going out alone or continuing the march,” he stressed.
He further warned against any attempt to destabilise the upcoming election of April 2015.